Background: The ADVIA 120 is an automated laser cell counter widely used in veterinary medicine. Although specific software for equine samples is available and validated, only a few reports have been published comparing the ADVIA 120 with other methods for equine hemogram evaluation.
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to compare the hematologic values and reference intervals obtained on the ADVIA 120 with those obtained on an impedance cell counter and manual differential counts in healthy horses.
Methods: EDTA-anticoagulated blood samples were obtained from 114 clinically healthy horses of various breeds, both sexes, and 2–6 years of age. Samples were stored for up to 12 hours at 4 °C and then analyzed on the ADVIA 120 and the Hemat 8. A 100-cell to 200-cell differential leukocyte count was performed by 3 independent observers on May-Grünwald-Giemsa-stained smears. Intra-assay precision of the ADVIA 120 was determined by analyzing 5 replicates each of 10 of the blood samples.
Results: Results from the ADVIA were significantly higher than those from the impedance counter for RBC count, total WBC count, hemoglobin concentration, red cell distribution width, MCH, and MCHC, and significantly lower for HCT and platelet count. Significantly higher neutrophil and basophil counts and significantly lower lymphocyte counts were obtained with the ADVIA 120 compared with manual counts. Based on Passing–Bablok regression analysis, RBC and platelet counts were in good agreement between the 2 analyzers; a constant and proportional bias was present for other values. Coefficients of variation for erythrocyte parameters on the ADVIA were <1%, but were higher for platelet (6%), total WBC (2%), differential WBC (4%–30%), and reticulocyte (75%) counts.
Conclusions: Results obtained with equine samples on the ADVIA 120 were comparable with those obtained on an impedance counter; reference intervals differed statistically but overlapped. The ADVIA had poor precision for reticulocyte and differential leukocyte counts such that the latter should always be verified on smears.